250 g/8 oz dried chick peas, soaked overnight and drained
2 cassia leaves (tej pattar) (optional)
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
2 tablespoons ghee or oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
2 ripe tomatoes, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon garam masala
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint or coriander
lemon juice to taste
1 or 2 fresh chillies (optional)
Put the soaked chick peas and cassia leaves in a saucepan with fresh water to cover. Bring to the boil and boil hard with lid off the pan for 30 minutes. Add turmeric, cover and simmer until almost tender. Add salt and continue cooking until chick peas are soft but holding their shape. Depending on the age and variety of the chick peas, cooking time could take up to 2 hours. Drain over a large bowl and reserve the cooking liquid.
In a heavy pan heat ghee or oil and gently fry the onion, garlic and ginger until onion is soft and golden, stirring frequently. Add chick peas and tomatoes and half the reserved cooking liquid. Cover and cook until tender, adding more liquid if necessary. Sprinkle with garam masala and chopped herbs, add lemon juice to taste and, if liked, sliced chillies. Serve with chapatis or puris.
Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)